Thursday, May 23, 2013

262. LITTLE DRUMMER BOY: A 1920s Mechanical Toy

I found this little drummer boy in one of those collectible shops along Tomas Morato in Q. C. . The bisque headed drummer has a wooden framework boy, covered with cloth, now frayed with age. He stands on a base made of thin plywood. He holds drumsticks on both hands; there is a lever at his back, which, when pulled down, caused the drumsticks to beat on a cardboard drum.
Toys, like this example, were cheaply produced in Europe. Bisque (unglazed ceramic) heads in all sizes were mass produced from the 18th to the 20th c. and were used to make dolls, automatons and mechanical toys. This drummer boy found its way here, perhaps, sold in one of the department stores or bazaars along Escolta in the 1920s. Such toys were comparatively expensive when sold here,  which probably was the reason why this toy survived--it was lovingly kept in a curio cabinet, only to be taken out and played with when a child got sick.